TALAS E-newsletter – October 28

Posted on October 28th, 2021
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Texas News
Donna ISD’s first female superintendent hopes to inspire students and staff
On Sept. 12 the Donna Independent School District Board of Trustees voted for the first woman as the sole finalist for superintendent

Now, Angela Dominguez discussed with ValleyCentral what her goals are for the district and how she plans to inspire students and staff.

Angela Dominguez has been a teacher, athletic coach, and was a principal at all levels, and was an assistant and deputy superintendent before accepting her new position as Superintendent of Donna ISD. 

Austin ISD Educator Selected As Bilingual Teacher Of The Year
Austin ISD has another Teacher of the Year among its numbers.

Luz Alvarez-Sims, Travis Heights Elementary fourth grade teacher, was named the 2021 Bilingual Education Teacher of the Year by the Texas Association for Bilingual Education.

The associations selected Alvarez-Sims to represent the bilingual teachers of Texas because of “her dedication to the needs of emergent bilingual students and her outstanding leadership.”

San Antonio’s 80-20 dual language program critical for bilingual population
The benefits of dual language instruction may stick with learners throughout their lives, as the approach is thought to enhance cognitive development. Bilingual students are known to communicate with a higher level of literacy and develop an awareness of how languages work, aiding in later language acquisition.

Such programs are gaining popularity, and many districts that offer them now have wait lists. For example, when New York City opened 33 dual language pre-K schools in 2018, there were 2,900 applications for about 600 spots.

When Focusing on Education’s Fundamentals Becomes Innovative: Inside the Texas Schools Putting the Basics of Strong Teaching, Learning & Governing Above Politics
Choice plays an important role in Dallas County, giving thousands of families options beyond their neighborhood school thanks to charter networks like Uplift and KIPP. Current Dallas Supt. Michael Hinojosa gives credit to the charter expansion for spurring the district to improve (that expansion was not always welcomed, however). Part of the innovation inspired by this competition includes Dallas ISD’s Early College High School/Collegiate Academy program.

The ‘Southlake’ Podcast Is a Troubling Look at the Race Debate Tearing Apart a North Texas Suburb
I grew up in Southlake and was mostly blind to the racism all around me. The NBC series changed my perspective.

In the fall of 1996, when I was a junior at Carroll High School in the North Texas suburb of Southlake, our football team faced off against Grapevine, the cross-town rival. Our team was all white; the Grapevine team was led by a Black wide receiver who would go on to play in the NFL. At the game, a group of Carroll students did something terrible: they began chanting the letters T-A-N-H-O, and one of them held up a sign bearing the same message. The acronym stood for “Tear a n—–’s head off.” Only the student who held the sign was disciplined, and the punishment was mild: a two-week suspension from after-school activities and three days’ detention, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Announcements
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National News
Problems With NYC’S Gifted and Talented Program Shared Across the Country — Along With Fears for Gifted Ed’s Future
New York City’s elementary school gifted and talented program, long criticized for its stark failure to include Black, Hispanic and other students, might win a reprieve from the likely incoming mayor. But the problems that led to its potential closure — how best to serve advanced learners without being exclusionary — still bedevil school districts across the country. 

The program’s very existence at the national level has grown increasingly politically polarized in recent years, with many progressives pushing for its dismantling and conservatives arguing for its preservation: In the nation’s largest school system, which serves nearly 1 million students, politicians, not educators, are fighting over its future. 

What are schools doing to prepare for a childhood COVID-19 vaccine rollout?
Parental permission processes for on-campus shots may be the biggest difference in inoculating students ages 5-11 vs. older students.

As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration debates granting emergency use authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11, school systems across the country are in various stages of planning for a potential rollout, including hosting vaccine clinics on campus, hiring additional staff, issuing communications to families, and handling parental permissions for students to get a shot.

The student body is deaf and diverse. The school’s leadership is neither.
Student protests over the hiring of a white hearing superintendent have roiled a school for the deaf that serves mostly Black and Hispanic students in the Atlanta area and have focused attention on whether school leaders should better reflect the identities of their students.

The Atlanta Area School for the Deaf, run by the Georgia Department of Education, is one of two public schools for the deaf in Georgia and serves roughly 180 students from kindergarten to 12th grade, about 80% of whom are Black and Hispanic.

10 reasons why discussing race in class improves outcomes for all students
Discussing race and racism in school reduces prejudice among white students and students of color

Not allowing students to discuss race or racism in schools is both unrealistic and harmful, a new report says.

First, there are developmental considerations, as children become aware of race and can experience positive and negative emotions about their ethnic groups even before they start school, says “United We Learn,” an Aspen Institute guide to how educators can better recognize America’s racial diversity.

Lizzi Bustillo, the winner of the National Children’s Narrative Award in Honduras
In its tenth edition, the National Children’s Narrative Award recognized the work of a young Honduran.

The young Honduran writer, Lizzi Bustillo, won the National Children’s Narrative Award. Organized by the Cultural Center of Spain in Tegucigalpa (CCET), the Embassy of Spain in Honduras and Santillana Honduras, the 10th edition of the National Children’s Narrative Prize was held on Tuesday, Oct. 26.  

Las Tienditas
This Week’s Featured Sponsor
TALAS sponsors make this newsletter and other TALAS activities possible. Please support them. Click on the logo to learn more!
Our team is driven by a common goal: To make it easier for schools to find substitute teachers and paraprofessionals when you need them.
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Swing Education is excited to serve Texas, and we look forward to helping you find more teachers for your classrooms tomorrow than you have today!

Contact: Jennifer Knighton – 512.736.3592

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